Charities on the Costa del Sol and Andalucia

By Dee McMath

In Andalucia and especially along the Costa del Sol, many worthwhile charities do excellent work to help different groups of society through times of need. From helping sick children and orphans, sufferers of diseases such as diabetes to giving quality of life to the terminally ill, there is help at hand. Many of these organisations include or are even run by international and often English speaking volunteers and staff. Volunteer work can range from hands on help for those who need it most, or by helping out at a charity shop or becoming involved in organising a fun event. You will see many Gala Dinners and Golf Tournaments advertised on the Costa del Sol in aid of any one of many worthy causes.

Becoming a volunteer is also a great way to meet new people of all nationalities, while making a difference to those who need it. As well as local charities there are also many branches of international charities, such as the Red Cross, operating along the Costa del Sol and the whole of Andalucia. On the coast, many of the local charities are run by English speaking people and often represent many nationalities. Here are some charities and groups who may be able to help you, or perhaps you might want to offer to help them:



AEBE - Butterfly Children Charity (DEBRA Spain)

The Butterfly Children Charity (DEBRA Spain) is a non profit organization with the aim of improving the lives of Butterfly children and their families. Butterfly children suffer from a rare and incurable condition. It is characterized by an extreme fragility of the skin. The lightest touch causes blisters and painful open wounds.The charity offers the following support to patients: specialist nursing assistance for patients, counseling for patients and families, and advice and mentoring for health professionals in both public and private sector. If you´d like to help us, you can do so by donating to our charity shops in calle Jacinto Benavente nº12 (on the Marbella post office road) or in calle Mendoza nº14 (Marbella Old Town) or by becoming a volunteer. You can also help us by becoming an ambassador helping us raising awareness about this cruel condition. Your help is greatly appreciated.
For more information, please call 952816434 or 607706727 and visit E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]


A non-profit making fully registered charitable organisation run entirely by volunteers. The majority of the work is dealing witholder English speaking people living within the Province of Malaga offering welfare information and advice, practical support and emergency help and back up when needed.

They also have a hospital and home visiting team. A Help Desk is available every Wednesday between 10. am and 12.30 pm at The Manila Bar, Los Boliches in Fuengirola or just come along for a chat and a coffee.
Helpline number: 691 761 088.


Many British people come to the Costa del Sol to live out the dream of retiring to the sun. Most of those who settle in this area, love it so much that they never look back. However, sometimes, perhaps through the loss of a partner or perhaps difficulties through illness, make life difficult. The Estepona branch of the Association Age Concern is affiliated to Age Concern España and counts on some 30 volunteers who help those in need. They cover the area from Sotogrande to San Pedro de Alcántara. Volunteers can help as translators, assist with Spanish paperwork, take people to clinics and hospital appointments, or sometimes help with the shopping. In extreme cases they have helped to repatriate older people to their country of origin. To help finance Age Concern's good work, they have opened a second hand shop in Calle Zaragoza, Estepona. More information about Age Concern.

  • If you are interested in becoming a volunteer phone: 952 801 746.
  • To contact the shop, please telephone 951 318 234
  • If you need a lifeline for fast and efficient help, please phone 650 163 928
  • Contact person - Tony - Telephone 952 797 024, or mobile 654 179 279


Aspandem started up in 1980 when a group of parents of mentally deficient children joined forces to support each other and the children in their very difficult situation. Since the 80's and a difference first made to 30 children's' lives, the number benefiting from the enthusiasm and help of Aspandem is now over 300. You can visit Aspandem's second hand shop in San Pedro de Alcántara where proceeds are used to meet the needs of mentally challenged children. The shop is located at Calle Marques de Estella 22-24, near the police station and is open from 10.00 to 13.00 Monday to Saturday.

For more information phone: 952 787 650, or 952 179 150
or call in at Avda. Principe de Asturias, San Pedro de Alcántara.


This centre for disadvantaged children and young people is located just outside Málaga city. The centre is run by brothers from the Catholic religious order "Hermanos Obreros de María" and is approved and monitored by the Andalusian Regional Government. On-site residence is provided for destitute children and those removed from parent custody while the on-site school is also open to children from low-income families and caters to their special learning needs. The centre is located at Finca los Asperos in Malaga. Due to new laws passed recently, volunteers need to be professionally trained in this specialist field. However, raising funds through a special event is another excellent way of helping this needy cause.

For more information, Tel: 952 179 150 or send an e-mail to Brother Juan Correa at Email: [email protected]


The Red Cross is a well known worldwide charitable organization. In Andalucia and all over Spain there are Hospitals run by the Cruz Roja (Red Cross). They do all sorts of charitable work and they also run first aid courses at very reasonable prices. Most of the staff and volunteers are likely to be Spanish speakers. They have centres and help points all over the Costa del Sol and Andalucia.

For more information contact: Head Office, Cruz Roja Malaga, Paseo de la Farola, 29016 Málaga.
Tel: 952 217 631 / 2.
E-mail: [email protected]


Most of us know at least one person who has been touched by cancer. Cudeca (Cuidados de Cancer - Cancer Care) is an amazing and pioneering Hospice Centre in Benalmadena, where specialist palliative nursing is offered to patients, as well as caring support for families and friends. Since 1992 CUDECA, founded and led by Joan Hunt (awarded the O.B.E. at Buckingham Palace in 2002 for her incredible work in southern Spain) has made a difference to thousands of people. With the dedication of this exceptional woman and hundreds of volunteers of all nationalities, Joan Hunt's dream of a hospice centre is now reality.

Look out for the Cudeca charity shops in; Alhaurín el Grande, Alora, Arroyo de la Miel, Coin, Estepona, Fuengirola, Nerja, Torre del Mar, Torremolinos, Cártama and also look into the Hospice Centre in Benalmadena where there is also a small shop in the Reception.

If you would like further information on patient care, both in the centre and home care, or if you would like to join the team of volunteers in fundraising events or at one of the 10 charity shops, contact Cudeca direct:

Fundación Cudeca
Centro de Cuidados Paliativos
Avda del Cosmos s/n
29631 Arroyo de la Miel
Benalmadena (Málaga)

Tel: 952 564 910
Fax: 952 564 922



The Horizonte charity provides after-school clubs for underprivileged children in Marbella. They hold an annual Autumn Bazaar at the beginning of October. Profits help towards fighting drug addiction amongst local youngsters. Horizonte also runs three day centres for high risk children, who may have no family support or are even HIV positive. Volunteers always needed either for the thrift shop or to help with events.

For further information call 952 858 652


'Los Claveles' is a recently formed charity, whose aim is to raise enough money to purchase a Radio Therapy unit for the Costa del Sol hospital so that the many cancer patients do not have to travel all the way to Malaga every day for treatment. They organise fund raising events at local venues, such as golf clubs, etc. With the aim to raise some 4 million euros for radiotherapy equipment for the Costa del Sol Hospital, all support is welcome.

For more information contact President Marion Winter on 952 863 926


The Fuerte Foundation is a project conceived by Isabel M. García Bardón supported by her children and the personnel at fuertehoteles. The foundation is born with the aim of gathering and managing the wish of the company in collaborating with solving the problems within its social surroundings.

The Fuerte Foundation wants to favour sustainable development for the persons (children, youngsters and families) at risk or with physical and/or cultural shortage within Spain and in those countries where the foundation aims convenient, especially in those places where fuertehoteles is located. This mission will be developed by means of assistance or the creation of projects which wholly improve life conditions: education, dwelling and/or human development

For More information:
Tel: 952 920 004
Fax: 952 920 020




Inspired by writing a magazine article Chris Chaplow founder of has created the Kiva team and donated €5000 of advertising to KIVA and have created an Andalucia Kiva Team so that friends of can join the Kiva project. Read more>


The first edition of the starlite gala took place in ‘Hotel Villa Padierna Marbella’ on the 7th August 2010 a platform created by Sandra Garcia-Sanjuan y Maria Bravo to unite the world of business, celebrities and philanthropy and to gather funds to improve the life of communities, families and children without resources in any location.  More information about Starlite Gala.

The Rhys Daniels Trust

The Rhys Daniels Trust provides 'Home from Home' accommodation close to specialist children's hospitals around the UK. The accommodation, which is fully self-contained, is for families to use whilst their child is receiving often life-saving treatment at a hospital many miles from their own home.

Fundraising is continuous and one of the highlights of the charity year is the Celebrity Golf Challenge held on the Costa del Sol each June. The 2009 event runs from 11-14 June with the sellout Butterfly Ball being held at the Hotel Puente Romano, Marbella on Saturday 13th June

Premier House, 141 High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BD, United Kingdom
Tel: (0044) 1992 570 550 / 637 969 189. Charity Registration Number: 1036041
Email: [email protected]


This international organisation is active in Málaga.
UNICEF - Provincial Branch, Malaga
Alameda Principal, 6-4o, Oficina D,
29005 Malaga

Tel: 952 061 144
Email: [email protected]

Mojacar Area Cancer Support - MACS

MACS provides help, care and support for people with cancer related disorders. Having the opportunity to talk to someone in a similar situation can be a great comfort to patients, particularly those feeling lonely or isolated. The Supporters are on hand to help with hospital visits, organise translations of hospitals papers, assist with shopping and are ready to offer care, help and support where needed. The Group has access to professionally qualified carers.

MACS is a registered charity and soon will have Utilidad Publica status We are totally dependent upon external support/donations and also the commitment of our volunteers. The group is raising much needed funds for the immediate and future medical requirements of patients and aim to one day have a local hospice.

We are honoured to include details of any donations on our Website to view this entry please click here

Macs also support patients and families with buddies /equipment/Professional emotional support/monthly group meetings/24/7 Careline/ Therapists and transport where chemotherapy is involved. More service are added each year.

Careline Tel: 634 656 555 or General Enquiries Tel: 634 328 334/5. Spanish and English spoken.



ADANA is an animal shelter for abandoned dogs and cats. The have a second hand shop at Calle Camino del Padre Cura, 14, Estepona - open Monday - Saturday 10am-2pm. They also organize many different events for fundraising.

Kennels: 952 113 467
Or call Jutta: 630 123 997


Animals-In-Distress. Fighting for the welfare of all abandoned & stray animals in this part of Southern Spain. Working with charities, organisations, sanctuaries, independent helpers & volunteers. We rescue and home abandoned dogs, cats and other stray animals in Coin, Alhaurin el Grande, Alora, Cartama & surrounding villages. We rely on good homes, foster homes and donations to help all animals. Dogs are desperate for help as there are so many dumped. Call Janice on 619377787 Website:


Nacional Association of Breeders of Rare Andalucian Giant Donkeys. This Association has a breeding sanctuary in Estepona at Finca Los Pajaritos, Km 164 of the A7. Open from 11:00 to 14:00 on Sundays. Follow the signs for ANCRAA. You are invited to cuddle a donkey. Volunteers and fundraising always welcome.
Tel: 952 790 511

ARCH (Andalucian Rescue Centre for Horses)

ARCH are based in stables behind Miralmonte Bar and Restaurant on the Alhaurin el Grande to Coin road. Many fund raising events are held during the year to help with the cost of providing shelter and rehabilitation until the animals are ready to be adopted into suitable homes or for their ongoing care at our stables. ARCH is a non profit making organisation and registered charity with 100% of all donations going directly to support the animals. No payroll - all volunteers. We constantly need donations, sponsors and helpers. Even a few hours a week would make a difference.

If you would like more information these are our details, email [email protected] or telephone Jill on +34 656 935 613 or Tracy on +34 659 408 664


The endangered Andalucian-Cordobesan donkey benefits from this trust. For more information call 952 387 688.


El Refugio del Burrito was established in 2003 and is a subsidiary of The Donkey Sanctuary, UK founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. It is only through her amazing devotion to donkeys and hard work that the Sanctuary grew to the international charity it is today. Many donkeys need care and protection from a life of suffering and neglect, whilst others have a vital role to play in human survival and happiness; they are at the heart of everything we do here at El Refugio del Burrito. You are welcome to visit us any day of the week. We open all year round from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. El Refugio del Burrito is only closed to the public on 25th of December and 1st of January every year. 

Admission is free, donations are welcome.   Based in Fuente de Piedra, close to the famous Flamingo Lake, we provide a safe haven with wonderful facilities for some of the many donkeys and mules that have faced such a hard life.
29520 Fuente De Piedra
GPS: 37.121522,-4.721889
Tel: (00 34) 952 735 077
Living in Andalucia